Newswise — MOULTRIE – Fifty-nine students received degrees during PCOM South Georgia’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 16, held in the University of Georgia Conference Center in Tifton. Fifty students made up the second class to receive the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Nine students were in the third class to receive the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree.

In his address to the graduates, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, reminded them of the challenges they overcame during their time as PCOM students. At the top of his list was the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the course of your studies at PCOM, you acquired vital knowledge, clinical skills, and the tools of critical thinking,” he said. “You modeled humanism, compassion, and empathy. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, you reckoned to understand the science of a novel virus. You realized – first-hand – that those who practice on the frontlines of health are vital to preserving our society. You witnessed how all-consuming the demands of medicine can be as your own education was disrupted. You grappled with the consequences of how a virus could upend our world – and the related social, political and economic upheaval and collective trauma that will reverberate for decades.”

Dr. Feldstein also mentioned the graduates’ dedication to their patients. 

“You committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” he continued. “From this consciousness, you deepened your understanding that achieving health equity requires ongoing efforts to address disparities. You confronted a multitude of challenges in an unsettled world, its pace of change seeming to accelerate with each day. These challenges tested your adaptability. They continue to require ingenuity and resilience. The healthcare landscape you enter is at an inflection point. It requires a fierce urgency. Trust that you possess wisdom gained from your studies and experiences, and that you have the characteristics you need to be successful. Take with you, too, a certainty of purpose. Remember always that holistic health care is still the heart and soul of medicine.”

During the commencement, Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, provost and senior vice president, named H. William Craver III, DO ’87, as professor emeritus, the first to receive that title from PCOM South Georgia.

President Feldstein also presented Dr. Craver with a resolution bestowing upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of Dr. Craver’s three decades of service to PCOM, which included serving a key role in establishing the South Georgia campus. Craver also served as dean and chief academic officer of PCOM Georgia and later PCOM South Georgia. He retired in April 2023.

“Now, before I invite Dr. Craver to give the commencement address, I would just like to add that none of us would be here today without his dedication, vision and commitment to South Georgia,” Dr. Feldstein said.

Dr. Craver then presented the commencement address, in which he encouraged graduates to assess themselves each day by looking at themselves in the mirror and asking themselves a set of questions.

“The first question I’d like you to ask is, ‘Did I learn something new today?’ he said. “If you really take the moment to be in-depth, you’re going to have at least 365 ‘a ha’ moments in this coming year. I challenge you, particularly in this intern year, your first year, to think about that because this year will be your most learning ever in your career – even above medical school…Take a moment every day to do that because in the end, you’re helping your patients.”

Another question Dr. Craver encouraged graduates to ask themselves is, did I give all the care I can to my patients today?

“I challenge you to remember if you’re at a point that you yourself are needing some self-care, you’ve got to either put it on the back burner for a few hours while you’re dealing with your patients who definitely need it…or make sure that somebody is there to help them,” he said. “It’s about our duty to help those around us.”

Dr. Craver ended by reminding the graduates that they need to like the person they see in the mirror. When the day does not work out the way they want, tomorrow is another day to try again.

Dr. Veit concluded the program by recognizing the support system that contributed to each graduate’s success.

“Each of our new graduates has earned our congratulations on this significant accomplishment,” he said. “However, we know that you did not make this journey alone. They did so with the support of parents, spouses, significant others, children and friends.”

Dr. Veit asked the graduates to turn and thank their family members and friends who helped them during their time as PCOM students.

“On behalf of the college, we also thank all of the friends and family members who are with us today to share this event with our graduates and faculty,” Dr. Veit said. “To our graduates, we could not be prouder of you or happier for you. Today, you have our congratulations, but tomorrow and always, you will have our hopes and prayers.”


About PCOM South Georgia In 2019, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied 125-year history, extended its commitment to the Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia. An additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia, PCOM South Georgia offers both a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution that trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields. Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state, PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the region. For more information, visit or call 229-668-3110.